The difference between light
and dark areas in an image.
Camera vs. your eye?
The camera cannot capture near the
range of tones that the human eye can.
That’s why we need to be aware of
what tones it is able to capture.
A large range
A small range
Very gray, ﬂat,
It’s all in the timing
Around noon on a sunny day, the light
is very contrasty, direct, and harsh.
Around sunrise/sunset, light is less
contrasty, because it’s diffused by more
atmosphere (not to mention longer shadows to
create more depth in your images.)
Overcast skies produce less contrast,
because the sunlight is very diffused.
This can be good for shooting
portraits, but not so good for
Don’t look at the sun!
into the sun will kill
your contrast and
confuse the light
meter in your
Shooting toward the sun can also
cause lens ﬂare!
What can I do about it?
We can’t change the sun or the clouds.
We can photograph early or late in the
day if the sunlight is too harsh.
We can move our subject out of direct
sun and into shadows (besides helping get the
contrast down, it’ll keep your subject from squinting so much.)